[Story Route readers will recognize the name of one of my favorite writers. He's the author of "Narratives for Dummies" that appeared on that blog. What I didn't mention there is that Sterling had a forty-year career as a family doctor, much of it in rural Alabama and rural Cariboo, in the wild heart of British Columbia.]
©2010 Sterling Haynes
Momma does nine months
of indigestion and awkwardness,
and massive breast enlargement.
Momma does milk.
Momma does the housework and laundry
despite enlarging horizontally and develops
the mid trimester’s bloom of pregnancy with
big boobs, momma does milk.
Momma gives up her job,
loses her place in the hierarchy of business
CEO’s while maintaining her family’s needs.
Yes, Momma does milk.
Momma does hard labour for 12 hours
plus ‘crowning ‘ for a 30 prolonged minutes,
then a tear into her rectum with sutures.
Ouch, momma does milk.
Momma does sitz baths and heat lamp
twice a day – with slow healing and constipation.
Cracked nipples above, sore bottom below.
Oui, momma does milk.
Momma does the blues on day five.
While baby sucks, momma drinks ounces of melancholy
with sore stitches and a colicky baby boy.
Sadly, momma does milk.
Momma is awake all night, hubby sleeps
but gets the twins to school on time. The kitchen is
a mess and the laundry piles up. With her
hair messy, momma does milk.
Momma does sex at six weeks,
Yucky mommy! Mini –pills or an
I.U.D. Does mommy have a choice?
And momma does milk.
Mommy dresses for a party and
leaks all over her nursing bra and silk shawl.
Breast pumps fill overflowing bottles,
yet momma does milk.
It’s a year now of motherhood and infancy,
Things are back to normal. The twins
are in grade two. Super mom gives in again
to her baby Viking… momma does milk.
Sterling writes: As a midwife involved in over 3,000 births – I know I got it right – my heart goes out to the Mommas of this world. I have the utmost admiration for the nursing mothers in this world. They give up at least 20 months of their lives, totally, for every child they deliver, nurse and care for. We certainly need more mommas in politics & law. I hope I wasn’t offensive but women need more recognition. The medical fraternity is not that great but they have let women join their ranks in the last few years.
Photo: Dorothea Lange (1895-1965); Gelatin Silver
This iconic portrait of a mother and her three children was taken in the USA in 1936. The family lived in a tent in a pea-pickers camp in Nipomo Valley, California. Dorothea Lange took this photograph whilst working for the Farm Security Administration (FSA), who created an extensive photographic record of the Depression in America between 1935 and 1943.
Sterling Haynes has just launched his new book, Wake-Up Call: Tales from a Frontier Doctor.